OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 10, 2012

Summerside, PEI
Stephen Downes, Flickr, August 10, 2012.

Summerside, PEI

I have been camping on Prince Edward Island for the last couple of weeks and so internet access has ben less than perfect. With a rain day today I am at the Alberton Community Access Program (CAP) site to create a newsletter and do some writing (it is such a mistake to cut funding for these; I hope Ottawa reconsiders). Anyhow, I was in Summerside last week to repair my bicycle and incidentally to take a number of photos. Here's the set, or you may prefere the slide show version. Enjoy.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Flickr, Newsletters]

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Educational technology for equity
Laura Czerniewicz, @Czernie, August 10, 2012.

Laura Czerniewicz posts her contribution to a book publiched by the Chronicle, Rebooting the Academy, edited by Tim McCormick and Jeffrey R. Young. She argues, "based on the open-web and premised on emerging digitally-mediated social practices, the key trends of openness, mobiles, and rich media coalesce to enable numerous opportunities for education."The perspective is South African, which poses particular challenges to e-learning, including a significant income inequality and a lack of access to services in many regions. In response, "the foundational characteristics (the affordances) of the digital permeate the three key value points for learners in universities enabling the reshaping of:

  • content (access to and apprenticeship to disciplinary knowledge, content creation) ;
  • interaction (between peers, between students and academic experts through pedagogy, feedback and engagement) ; and
  • accreditation (summative evaluation and certification)."

Good article, good perspective. (p.s. Czerniewicz points to the Opening Scholarship blog, which aggregates a number of southern voices in education.)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Books, Quality, Online Learning, Academia, Africa]

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files/images/we-think1.jpg, size: 24690 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
Welcome to We-think: mass innovation, not mass production
Charles Leadbeater, Website, August 10, 2012.

Only the first three chapters are available online, but we do get the entire first draft, as well as research reports written by Anna Maybank in support of the book, so there's a lot of value here. The message, I think, is one that is familiar to readers here: the internet is enabling mass coversation, mass collaboration, which in turn is resulting in massinnovation in things like Wikipedia and Linux. And what motivates quality contributions to these mass projects? In the past, you were what you owned, but today, according to Leadbeater, you are what you share. I like the bird's nest analogy in the video, in the sense that each one of us contributes a twig or piece of string to the overall shape - but I think in this case the metaphorical  nest emerges from the contributions, rather than being designed by something larger like a bird.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Video, Research, Quality, Wikipedia]

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Affording the Classroom of the Future
Bridget McCrea, THE Journal, August 10, 2012.

The advertising makes for an annoying read, but I found this article in THE Journal relevant to some writing I'm doing and a good overview of the challenges around new technology in the classroom. Here's the biggest, in my mind: "Old habits, especially in old systems that are based on tradition, die very long, painful, and unchanging deaths," said Little, "only to be replaced with mirror images of themselves that are entrenched in yet more dogma, rules, regulations, and experienced personnel longing for 'the good old days.'" Too true and it reminds me that even education reformers aren't always interested in looking beyond the traditional dynamics of the 1970s era classroom-and-teacher.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Marketing, Experience]

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Do cellphones mske students smarter?
Misty Harris, O.Canada.com, August 10, 2012.

This article reports on "a survey released Thursday [that] shows more than half of Canadians – 56 per cent – agree that the mobile devices are an 'invaluable tool' for students, while fully two-thirds see smartphones as a way for students to conduct online research any time, anywhere." One person refers in the article to a class of 1400 students - if that's not a typo the this in-person class is in MOOC territory - minus the 'open' bit of course.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Research, Canada]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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